SURFACES REPORTER (SR) congratulates Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye who has been recently awarded the 2021 Royal Gold Medal for Architecture from The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). This is said to be one of the world’s highest honors for architecture.
With this, Sir David Adjaye has become the first black architect who won RIBA Gold Medal.
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, Texas (2019)
RIBA award has been directly approved by Her Majesty the Queen and it acknowledges those who have had a noteworthy influence on the “advancement of architecture.”
Adjaye, who founded Adjaye Associates in 2000, thanked all the people who supported his journey and expressed gratitude, “It's incredibly humbling and a great honor to have my peers recognize the work I have developed with my team and its contribution to the field over the past 25 years.”
The Moscow School of Management Skolkovo in Russia (2010)
“Architecture, for me, has always been about the creation of beauty to edify all peoples around the world equally and to contribute to the evolution of the craft. The social impact of this discipline has been and will continue to be the guiding force in the experimentation that informs my practice,” he added.
Alan Jones chaired the 2021 Royal Gold Medal selection committee which comprises architects like Dorte Mandrup, Lesley Lokko, structural engineer professor Hanif Kara and Shelley McNamara (last year’s RIBA Royal Gold Medal winner).
Dirty House, London, 2002
Jones said, “It was my absolute pleasure and honor to chair the committee and be involved in selecting Sir David Adjaye as the 2021 Royal Gold Medalist.”
“At every scale, from private homes to major arts centers, one senses David Adjaye’s careful consideration of the creative and enriching power of architecture. His work is local and specific and at the same time global and inclusive. Blending history, art, and science, he creates highly crafted and engaging environments that balance contrasting themes and inspire us all. I believe his both practicing and teaching in schools of architecture has significantly enriched his work. His artistic and social vision has created public projects that perfectly demonstrate the civic potential of architecture—fostering empathy, identity, and pride. David’s contribution to architecture and design globally is already astounding, and I am excited that we have so much more of it to look forward to,” he further added.
Ruby City, an art center in San Antonio
Adjaye has been working in the architectural domain for more than 25 years and achieved international recognition due to his excellent projects. His work portfolio includes exhibitions, furniture designs, private houses, cultural buildings, and city masterplans.
His firm’s most famous projects are Ruby City, an art center in San Antonio; Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, Texas (2019); the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver in Colorado (2007); the Moscow School of Management Skolkovo in Russia (2010), to name a few.
The Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver in Colorado (2007);
Adjaye has also won several accolades for his ground-breaking works, such as RIBA Bronze Medal for the best design project worldwide in 1993; RIBA International Awards for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver in 2008, and many more.